15, 2009. that miraculous performance saved the lives of 155 people. flight 1549 oak off from new york. minutes after takeoff the plane suffered a pilot's nightmare. two birds flew directly into one of the plane's two engines, and permanently shut it down, realizing this sullenberger had to take numerous variables into conside"ation in little or almost no time. distance tocommercial or highway, the estimated traffic on those sites, fuel availability, competing air traffic, man containing stability of the aircraft in the flight, wind velocity, altitude, and above all, staying calm! he look occupant his cockpit window and it all pulled together, a clean strip of the hudson river. no marine craft new york barges, fuselages, gauged by him, all lined up. it worked.